I need advice from you woodworking pros.
We bought one of those kits, where all you do is add the 2x4s to make a
6-foot wide outdoor bench that converts to half a picnic table. Because the
bench would be outside all year round, I originally put it together using
treated 2x4s. Not being an experienced woodworker, I didn't realize that
once the treated wood dried out, the treated 2x4s would end up all twisted
and warped because the supports on this bench are about 5 feet apart, so the
boards span about 5 feet.
Now we're going to replace the treated 2x4s with untreated 2x4s. I was
considering buying cedar 2x4s, which we would varnish or polyurethane so the
cedar doesn't turn gray. However, cedar is pretty expensive, and someone
told me that as long as you're going to varnish or polyurethane the wood,
you might as well save money and use regular, untreated pine 2x4s. He said,
as long as you varnish or polyurethant the wood once a year, it shouldn't
rot from being outside. (BTW, the wood does not contact the ground on this
I know that, theoretically, that should be the case. But will the bench
really last as long as if I used cedar? Has anyone built outdoor furniture
from pine ... and if so, how long does it last? If pine will work fine, I'd
prefer that because cedar costs, what, 3X more?
Any advice would be appreciated!! Also, are there any tricks to working with
treated wood, so it doesn't twist and warp when it dries out? From my
experience, it seems treated boards are only suitable when you're screwing
it down every 16 inches or so, like on a deck. But maybe there are tricks I
don't know of.
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